RAIN RFID Helps Reynolds Prevent Loss of Shipping Crates

Reynolds was losing reusable food crates because customers weren’t returning them. As replacement costs added up, it was clear they needed a simple asset tracking solution. Through a RAIN RFID solution from Impinj and Avery Dennison, Reynolds was able to quickly tell which crates went missing and take actions to get them back. They were able to:

  • Save $197,000 in replacement totes cost since deployment
  • Experience ROI within three months of deployment
  • Project over $450,000 in annual savings
  • Implement a durable, sustainable asset tracking solution

Reynolds Profile:

Founded in 1945, Reynolds is one of the leading wholesale fresh food providers in the UK. They ship produce and foods to restaurants and caterers throughout the country. Annually, they deliver over one million crates of food all over the UK.

Impinj Solution Partner: 

Enabling RAIN RFID throughout the supply chain to eliminate loss

Reynolds delivers over one million crates of food to their customers throughout the UK. In an effort to use fewer disposable crates, Reynolds decided to make the switch to reusable plastic crates. When an order is made, a crate is filled with the appropriate items and sent to the customer, who should then return the crate to Reynolds. As the new plastic crates were more expensive than the disposable ones, it was important Reynolds was able to recover crates after delivery.

However, these reusable assets often went missing or were simply never returned. To ensure greater traceability, Reynolds choose a RAIN RFID solution from Avery Dennison and Impinj. Here is how it works:

  • Two waterproof RAIN RFID tags featuring Impinj Monza R6 endpoint ICs are affixed to the bottom of each reusable crate. Tags are applied by the crate manufacturer.
  • Once the customer places a food order, each tagged crate is scanned and associated with the appropriate order
  • Filled crates are then read by an Impinj xSpan as it moves along a conveyor belt, marking each crate as ready for shipment
  • Loaded crates are then moved through one of 19 dock doors before being loaded onto trucks for delivery to customers or regional depots. Impinj xSpan readers are mounted above each of the dock doors to read the crates as they exit the warehouse and onto the trucks.
  • Upon the empty crates' return to the warehouse through dock doors, they are again verified by Impinj readers as "returned"

After the solution was deployed, Reynolds achieved ROI within three months based on the prevented loss of crates.

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Reynolds’ RAIN RFID solution reduces costs and keeps track of assets

  • RAIN RFID asset tracking drastically reduced crate loss
    Crates were tracked every step of  Reynolds’ supply chain, from packaging to return. When a crate was lost, workers were able to immediately locate when and where it went missing and take actions to retrieve it. With each of the one million delivered crates costing around $7, Reynolds is now able protect their investment.
  • A scalable, low-cost solution for faster ROI
    Since a vast number of crates are coming and going through the Reynolds warehouse, Reynolds required a tracking system that could scale. Inexpensive RAIN RFID tags initially saved Reynolds $197,000 in replacement costs and is projected to save the company almost half a million dollars annually.
  • Thoughtful implementation for sustainable tracking
    Many RAIN RFID tags are not waterproof and because crates are washed at least 10-12 times in their lifespan, Reynolds needed tags that could withstand water and harsh conditions. The Avery Dennison tags, featuring Monza R6 endpoint ICs, used at Reynolds are not only reusable, they are waterproof and thus remain affixed to each crate through washing.

Impinj (NASDAQ: PI) helps businesses and people analyze, optimize, and innovate by wirelessly connecting billions of everyday things—such as apparel, automobile parts, luggage, and shipments—to the Internet. The Impinj platform uses RAIN RFID to deliver timely data about these everyday things to business and consumer applications, enabling a boundless Internet of Things.

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